Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 87

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !

Chapter 87

“Sigh!”

Thud-thud-thud-thud.

Whish-thwack.

Despite earnestly making the horse gallop and taking aim with the crossbow, the bolts fired in quick succession narrowly missed their targets, embedding themselves in the ground instead.

“Ah…”

A sigh laced with disappointment escaped Norden, a fledgling soldier who had barely finished a year of training.

Yet, his performance was still somewhat better than his peers around him.

Whish-whish-whish.

The bolts misfired embarrassingly off-target, while some soldiers still struggled to manage the reins atop the unsteady saddle, their sore backsides testament to their turmoil.

In truth, this was to be expected.

Accurately hitting a target with a bow while on horseback, let alone even with a crossbow, was challenging with just one year of training.

But Norden’s eyes were fixed not on his average performing peers but rather on the few who appeared to perform this nearly impossible task with disconcerting ease.

“Charge!”

“Fire!”

Effortlessly shooting targets while charging and even hitting them from behind, nine times out of ten, was the ‘Knight Trainees’.

Recognized for their talent and solely focused on training, exempt from guard duties, Norden had believed their training primarily consisted of physical conditioning and sword and spear techniques.

Buoyed by the overwhelming victory in the last battle, he had wagered that he had dedicated just as much time, if not more, to crossbow training as them.

Yet, it was these three hundred who boasted a remarkable performance.

Even when facing Sylvan in battle, more than half of them hadn’t been as adept.

There was no other explanation but a stark difference in talent.

‘Those are the ones who’ll become knights.’

The crossbow cavalry, including instructors from the royal guards and the half of veteran soldiers who had been with the young lord from the beginning plus the knight trainees, now numbered over nine hundred.

Minus the Order of Knights, they were the McLaine Army’s finest at this moment.

The tale of how the young lord had saved the family in crisis with just three hundred crossbow cavalrymen was known far and wide in McLaine.

Being recognized as one of these elite meant receiving the same honor.

Moreover, the crossbow cavalry’s wages had officially more than doubled the standard soldier’s pay after the previous battle.

With that in mind.

‘After all that effort…’

Overwhelmed by a sense of defeat, Norden hung his head low.

He had felt his lack of knightly talent over the last year, putting aside monstrous outliers like Victor, who had quickly risen to knighthood, and turned his ambition to joining the crossbow cavalry, only to fail there too.

His own ineptitude felt all too acute.

If he failed again, the next selection would be even more challenging with soldiers from Sylvan also eligible to apply, many of whom were cavalry experts.

‘I need to provide for my family.’

His father had been bedridden for three months due to illness.

His pregnant mother, nearing childbirth, could hardly tend the farm.

Despite clenching his teeth to resist, tears flowed helplessly.

“How embarrassing…”

Wiping away tears in a hurry, his attention was pulled by a robust voice suddenly carrying over.

“Enough! You, you, you, and those with similar scores, select and round them up to a thousand. For now, exclude lance and sword techniques from their training and focus on horsemanship and crossbow!”

Watching from a distance, the young lord pointed out several individuals.

If Norden wasn’t mistaken, one of those points was definitely directed his way.

“Me, sir?”

“It seems so.”

Sighing, the instructor next to him patted Norden on the back.

“Oh, hurray!”

Although Norden cheered,

“This could mean another war…”

The worn-out mercenary-turned-instructor sensed another ominous scent of blood in the duke’s orders and grimaced.

* * *

“How have the Sylvan knights settled in?”

“Perfectly assimilated into the Order. They’ve received their mithril swords, and the morale’s high with the imparting of the ironblood sword,” replied Knight Commander Heinckel to his liege, Logan.

“Good,” Logan responded, a trace of satisfaction in his voice.

“What about the others?”

“No issues, just good news,” Heinckel’s lips curled into a faint smile as he continued his report.

“Such as?”

“Our morale’s notably uplifted thanks to Lady Eileen’s participation in the training.”

“Hmm?”

“Well, for now, they’re motivated by not wanting to be beaten by a lady.”

Amused by the unexpected beneficial effect, Logan chuckled.

“What’s the headcount for our knight forces?”

“Counting myself, 152 in full.”

“Good.”

Logan turned away, pondering the costs.

“The upkeep for a thousand crossbow cavalrymen and a hundred fifty knights, what’s the estimate?”

“We can handle twice that comfortably,” answered Dwayne, who, like Heinckel, emanated confidence.

Yet Logan’s reaction was slightly different this time.

“Merely twice…”

“Merely? We have nearly 3,000 horses in our territory. And with the ongoing influx and maintenance of the stables, the cost is…”

“Tck, I misspoke. There’ll be more funds in the future.”

“Again with the unease, my Lord. Are you preparing for war?!”

“What does it look like I’m doing?”

“…,” Dwayne was momentarily left speechless.

Despite his lord’s assertive demeanor, the uncertainties looming were an inseparable presence.

“Our focus now should be on growth, to eventually stand against Bifrost.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Then why even speak of lacking?”

“But when one is aware of their deficiencies, there comes a time when they must act regardless. And for us, that time…”

Those words, as though admonishing, came from the young yet somber young lord Logan.

“It’s now for us.”

Unable to object further in the face of their lord’s serious countenance, both councilors could only nod weakly, their hearts heavy with the nuances of the unspeakable.

“If only we weren’t heading towards a war…”

With that innermost thought forever unspoken, Logan urged them to move on to other matters.

* * *

“New training?”

“Yes.”

“You do realize our knight order is already undergoing some of the most rigorous training compared to others, right?”

“Of course,” Logan acknowledged.

“And yet you wish to add more?”

“Just hear me out.”

Logan laid out his plan to Patrick, and the discussion was brief.

“Interesting. This might be useful.”

That single comment effectively added another brutal regimen to the already hellish training courses of the McLaine knight order.

Cries of pain filled the air as a knight, who barely reached the top after climbing a vertical cliff, got struck with a wooden sword.

Slipping into unconsciousness, he plummeted 20 meters, only to be caught by the tog-grade knight Patrick.

Catching his comrade with a soft thud, Patrick marked him as a dropout.

The confrontation was intense, and the knight joined his fellow dropouts, their spirits crushed by the near-death ordeal.

Amidst groans of discomfort, yet another knight took a tumble just as Heinckel caught him with a strained look.

“Hellish training,” the knights murmured.

“Shh. It’s the duke’s idea.”

“Cursed duke…”

A low mutter could hardly be considered a pleasant experience.

But Logan’s father had clapped his hands in approval upon hearing the training proposal, pleased with its execution.

“An excellent fortification drill, beneficial to both offense and defense. If only a tad less dangerous, it would be perfect!”

Just a tad? That was the understatement of their grueling ordeal, and all knights in wait glared daggers at the back of their lord’s head, quickly looking away when he turned to address them.

“Focus, all of you! Start again from the front line! For every dropout, a 10-gold deduction from monthly pay. Succeed, and it’s the opposite. Hanson, keep this up and you won’t see this month’s pay.”

The threat of wage cuts prompted even the dropouts to eye the cliff again, their dread unabated.

Most were common knights who faced superior-rank opponents, making the challenge seem insurmountable.

‘How could anyone even succeed?’

Resignation set in, yet a surprising challenger gave hope.

“Wow…”

“Decent effort…”

A petite knight swiftly scaled the cliff, nearing the top quickly.

“Fast, but…”

“In vain.”

The knights assumed failure was inevitable for this upstart—the odds were against the climber unless they were far superior or numerous.

Yet, the sight heartened some watchers.

“She’s got grit… and excellent swordsmanship for her age. The potential’s endless.”

“Evidently.”

Logan’s smile was genuine upon hearing his father’s approval—he knew Eileen had won over the majority of the McLaine knight order.

Her progress was more rapid than anticipated, so he watched her attempt with a smile.

That is until the moment before the outcome.

Approaching the knight attempting to climb up the cliff, a moment of spitting phlegm inside the helmet. Intermediate knight Kelly, with a distorted expression, lowered his head instead of swinging his sword. In that gap, hanging on the cliff, the small figure, Eileen, aimed for Kelly’s vulnerability and swung her iron sword.

Paaaang!

The moment of impact wasn’t just as if life itself were being severed; it was a terrifying sound that cutoff the bloodline. Startled, Kelly took a step back.

Swiftly seizing the opportunity, Eileen occupied the space and raised her sword, pointing it at him.

“Yahoo! Success!”

She cheered, but most of the onlookers just stood there in astonishment with their mouths agape.

“…Didn’t they say she’s a noblewoman from the count’s family?”

“Yes… probably…”

It was an absurd method, but success was success. The problem was that after this, many knights began imitating Eileen’s tactics. The training became fiercely competitive, and witnessing the scene, the trainer could only bury their face in their hands.

Eileen wasn’t just adapting impressively to the knight order; she was distorting it.

Editor’s musing:

Eileen stealing people’s heart and cutting off future generations.

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *